By Christine Mason
In June of almost every year I head to the mountains in New Mexico for Summer Solstice, a yoga event attended by about 1800 yoga practitioners from around the world. I began that practice in 1995 and it is part of my routine. However, yoga doesn’t need to be in the mountains, which in fact can present its own difficulties. In the mountains, we camp in the desert where temperatures approach 100 degrees during the day and may drop to below freezing at night. In the mountains, we are impacted by altitude which makes the yogic breathwork more difficult.
Today more and more schools are starting to offer yoga, mindfulness, and meditation for youth and for teachers and staff. If I were planning a yoga/meditation agenda for my school, I would include kangaroo hopping, cobra, and cat stretches for preschoolers. Elementary students would have yoga/mind breaks such as those introduced in CEI’s Heart Beaming booklet. As students aged they would be introduced to more rigorous poses and routines to improve the quality of their yoga workout, sharpen their minds, and help them to become more conscious of themselves.
In February 2016, CEI is introducing a special opportunity for you to incorporate yoga/meditation in your school. Sign up for a CEI Workshop, and receive a 45-minute yoga workshop for teachers at no additional charge. We are also offering technical assistance to help teachers plan for and monitor yoga implementation with their students.
Yoga and meditation have multiple benefits for adults and children. At CEI, we continue to come across more and more evidence supporting its use in schools. Think about it — we are born with lungs, a mind, and a body. No additional equipment is needed. As powerful as the iPhone, the new Apple Watch, or hand-helds we use every day are, yoga and meditation provide benefits that cannot be delivered via wireless devices.